Through Hulu’s ‘Never Let Him Go,’ viewers get to know more about the case of Scott Johnson, a bright young man whose life came to an abrupt end in December 1988 in Canberra, Australia. For over three decades, his family fought to get him justice until the recent arrest of Scott White, the man who was convicted of being responsible for Johnson’s death. Naturally, people are curious to know what White is up to these days, and we are here to share what we know about it!
Who is Scott White?
Born in 1970, Scott White used to go by the name Scott Newman and reportedly grew up in a homophobic household. Around the age of 14/15, he was living on the streets. During his time in the court, he had stated that he had realized that he was gay around this time but was afraid of what would happen should his brother Shane Newman ever find out about it. Over the course of the next few years, White became involved with various groups that were in the habit of assaulting men they perceived to be gay.
Known as “gay bashing,” this was a prevalent problem in areas in and around Sydney, Australia, including Manly, Australia, where White used to reside. He allegedly confessed to his ex-wife Helen White about his involvement in beating up several men for being gay. According to Helen, his hatred could also be attributed to his experience with a dealer as a teenager who provided White with necessities in exchange for sleeping with him.
As per White’s admission, he had met up with Scott Johnson in a bar in December 1988, from where the two had gone to North Head, a cliffy area in Manly. The location was apparently a “beat,” which indicated that people of the LGBTQ+ community would often go to this place in order to meet up with other people of the community, primarily due to the widespread hate against them, as well as the law which stated that men sleeping with each other were punishable by prison time.
Apparently, White and Johnson had gotten into an argument, leading the former to punch the latter. Johnson allegedly staggered and fell from the cliff, leading to his death. Later on, when the police investigated the scene, they found Johnson’s clothes neatly folded on a rock, with his identification laid nearby, though his wallet was missing. This matched with Helen’s account of her ex-husband, who detailed an incident in the Hulu documentary show when White had apparently gotten into an argument with a man and made him strip naked and fold his clothes. Moreover, Helen claimed that her husband had a habit of assaulting men and taking their wallets, which aligned with the circumstances of Johnson’s death.
Following an undercover operation in which White shared details of his meeting with Johnson to disguised police officers, he was arrested on May 12, 2020. Though he maintained his innocence while in custody, he changed his plea to being guilty during his arraignment on January 10, 2022. This led him to get convicted on January 13, 2022, and his sentence of twelve years and seven months was announced on May 3, 2022.
Where is Scott White Now?
Following his conviction, Scott White retracted his guilty plea and appealed to overturn his conviction. This meant that the case went on for some more time until February 23, 2023, when White pled guilty to manslaughter, for which one can be sentenced to a maximum of 25 years as per the local law. He was re-sentenced to prison, this time for nine years, on June 8, 2023. It was stated that he would be eligible for parole after six years. Given his initial arrest in 2020, White will become eligible for parole in 2026.
Before his initial conviction, White had been diagnosed with early-onset dementia, likely due to his excessive usage of alcohol. Combined with his far-from-ideal childhood, which saw him living on the streets at a young age, his prison sentence was set accordingly. “The offender was clearly a damaged albeit physically powerful young man,” Justice Robert Beech-Jones said during White’s second sentencing. “However, he was not broken as he is now.”